Cork footballers must win back the faith of people in the county after a poor 2015 season, according to Eoin Cadogan.
A year marked by heavy losses to Dublin in the Division 1 final and Kildare in the qualifiers means the Douglas man accepts going so close against Kerry in the drawn Munster final counted for little.
He says there is a determination in the camp to get supporters back on side.
“2015 was a very disappointing year for us. From a players’ perspective, we feel we have to regain the support and trust of the Cork people, but, in saying that, there are a lot of positives to take from it [last year].
“Going into the new year, the league is a learning process and it gives the chance to blood new guys and to be competitive in all the games we go out and play. If we do that, I think the performances will follow.”
After Friday’s McGrath Cup final success, Cork face Mayo in their Division 1, round one game at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday hoping to keep their 100% record intact under new manager Peadar Healy.
Cadogan says there is a good rapport between players and Healy, stemming back to his days as a selector.
“Peadar would have good knowledge of the players, what makes them tick and what they need to improve. The backroom team all contribute differently and, so far, so good. Things have been going well.
“We’re looking forward to this weekend. It’s very hard to know how you’re going to fare in your first league game. There’s a lot of work in the gym and a lot of hard slog in bad conditions. It’s our first real test in terms of intensity and competition.”
Turning 30 this year, Cadogan ruled out the possibility of returning to hurling with the county, though he has “quite a good relationship” with Kieran Kingston, whose sons play for Douglas.
However, he believes the day of the dual player is not yet over.
“I don’t think it’s impossible for somebody [aged] maybe 22 or 23. When I was that age, the more games I was getting the more I was enjoying it. There tends to be more training now, when you’re focusing on one code, for little more games. I wouldn’t rule out the chance of somebody doing it again in the future.”
Last month, Cadogan’s brother Alan — who has committed to the Cork hurlers again this season — told the Irish Examiner that he would love to play a dual role this season.
“From a fella who really enjoys playing football, it’s frustrating when you are not given the chance to play both codes,” Alan said. “Shouldn’t it be the player who decides whether he wants to pursue the dual role or not?”
Meanwhile, new Laois football boss Mick Lillis has suffered a massive blow to his hopes of making a winning start in the NFL campaign.
On the back of last year’s close shave with relegation, Clare native Lillis understandably feels that a maximum haul of points for his charges is ultra important in the opening round tie against Kevin Walsh’s Galway, at Portlaoise, on Sunday.
However, the aspirations of the Laois supremo will have to be considerably reined in due to the fact he will have to plan for the encounter without the guiding influence of talismanic midfielder Brendan Quigley.
Arising out of his sending-off in last year’s shock All-Ireland qualifiers defeat by Antrim at O’Moore Park, the highly-experienced Quigley picked up a one-match suspension.
He will be joined along the sideline by former All Stars Paul Flynn (Ballygunner) and Eoin Kelly (Passage). Kieran O’Gorman of Lismore, who served as minor selector three years ago, completes Power’s backroom set-up. Flynn will act as assistant manager. This management team will also take charge of the intermediate hurlers.
Waterford host Clare in the Munster semi-final on July 13. They last lifted provincial honours in 1994.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved